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Chicago Wardrobe Follow-up #4: My Mom’s Edition!

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As promised, here’s one last follow-up on my Chicago (ORD) travel wardrobe experience— but this time, it’s all about my mother! It was her trip, after all; I just accompanied her to help with driving, etc., so I really can’t finish up my post-trip reports without covering at least a little of her experience!

Note: If you’d like to get caught up on this whole experience, there’s a list of links at the end of this post.

Silly of me, but I just didn’t think to take pictures specifically of Mom’s travel wardrobe while we were together on this trip, but at least I have some photos of her during various activities and events. (We live in different states.) And she’s been kind enough to send me a list of what she packed, with notes on what she’d do differently next time, so we should be able to get an overall sense of her experience, clothes-wise.

Here’s what Mom packed:


1 pair good-quality black knit nylon pants

1 pair taupe stretch cotton cropped pants

1 pair chinos (back-up)


1 black polyester button-front calf-length skirt


1 polyester blouse, teal

1 polyester top, multicolor print on black

1 multicolor print long-sleeved tee

2 tanks, 1 white, 1 black

1 short-sleeved tee, aqua


1 lightweight casual taupe jacket

1 windbreaker, chartreuse


1 pair tan sandals

1 pair tennis shoes

1 pair blue Birkenstock sandals

Before I get to her notes on how all this worked for her, here are some photos, mostly of Mom, during the trip.

Where we stayed

Day 1: Where we stayed. This is the backyard patio at my Uncle Tom and Aunt Nancy’s beautiful Libertyville home, where Mom and I stayed most of the time while we were in Illinois (in the house, that is, not on the patio).

Day 2: Reunion

Day 2: Mom’s 60th Ela-Vernon High School reunion! Here she is with photos of her entire graduating class of 1953. That’s Mom in the red circle— she was valedictorian, and voted Most Likely to Succeed! She’s wearing her multicolor print top with the button-front skirt, mesh tights, and tan sandals. (And since the reunion happened on July 3, she’s holding a thematically-correct party favor!) Doesn’t she look great?

Day 3: 4th of July parade

Day 3: 4th of July parade in a neighboring community. Standing to the left of the tree is Mom (wearing taupe cropped pants and multicolor print top with tan sandals); to the right of the tree is my Uncle Tom (Mom’s brother), and in the red shirt and jeans to Tom’s right is my Aunt Nancy.

Day 3: Fireworks!

Day 3: Fireworks! We decided to watch from the end of my aunt and uncle’s driveway, hence the tree on the left of the photo. (I also tried out the fireworks setting on my camera for the first time; hmm. The jury’s still out on how well that worked, but I like this picture.)

Day 4: Museum

Day 4: Museum visit in Mahomet. Originally called Early American Museum (my grandfather and his collection started this museum in the late 1960s), it’s recently been renamed Museum of the Grand Prairie. It has had many additions and improvements over the years, of which we got a behind-the-scenes tour, and is now much larger than you would think from this photo. (My twin sister and I were born in neighboring Champaign, my father’s hometown.) Click here to learn more about the Museum of the Grand Prairie.


My grandfather, William Redhed, who founded the museum with his own Early American collection. (We saw many of his original pieces in the new state-of-the-art storage area.) This portrait was taken by his son (my father), and hangs just inside the main museum entrance. Yes, I’m very proud.

Mom in photo booth

In the new Abraham Lincoln exhibit in the museum, we found this replica of a studio where Lincoln was frequently photographed. Mom poses here with a typical shawl of the Civil War era (over her black pants, aqua tee, and tan sandals).

Mom's childhood home

Day 7: Mom’s childhood home, where she lived from the late 1930s to late 1940s. She’s standing next to an enormous oak tree that she remembers from that time. While we were driving around this area, we also saw a one-room schoolhouse (now a residence) that Mom attended as a child! (She’s wearing her taupe cropped pants, aqua tee, and tan sandals.)

Day 8: Mount Hood

Day 8: Mount Hood, Oregon. I took this picture from the airplane, near sunset, not long before landing back in Portland. So beautiful. And a very nice welcome home.

Here are Mom’s notes (in her own words) about her travel wardrobe.

What didn’t work: I didn’t wear the new blue [Birkenstock] sandals, because they proved to be not very comfortable. I didn’t wear the chino pants; they would have worked fine except the fit is kind of baggy and I looked better in the other pants. (Baggy is okay at home. The moral of this story is: Don’t fill your suitcase with anything you’re not certain of or happy with.)

Do differently: I don’t have many summery-looking clothes. I was quite comfortable, but people noticing some of my dark-colored things might have wondered if I was. Hopefully that could improve before I take any more summer trips to the Midwest or South.”

And now, in case you’ve missed any of the posts in the ORD travel wardrobe series (and I wouldn’t blame you— there are a lot!), here are links to all of them, in first-to-last (sorry) ORDer:


Makeover Monday: A New Wardrobe ORDer

ORDering Color from your Closet

Packing ORDer (and a minor emergency)


Chicago Travel Wardrobe: A Follow-up (or 3) is in ORDer

Chicago Travel Wardrobe: Follow-up #2 (in ORDer)

Chicago Travel Wardrobe: Follow-up #3

Author: Colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, lingerie, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

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